Reports Report 4097aj (Event 4097-2015)

This report has been linked to the following event: Event 4097-2015
NameStanley S
Experience Level3/5
RemarksThis object/event was so bright and long-lasting, others must have witnessed it, also.
AddressReno, NV
Latitude39° 29' 35.44'' N (39.49°)
Longitude 119° 51' 25.16'' W (-119.86°)
Time and Duration
Local Date & Time2015-12-22 18:10 PST
UT Date & Time2015-12-23 02:10 UT
Moving directionFrom down right to up left
Descent Angle271°
Facing azimuth275°
First azimuth270°
First elevation50°
Last azimuth145°
Last elevation-
Brightness and color
Stellar Magnitude-20
ColorGold, Yellow
Concurrent Sound
Delayed Sound
Persistent train
Terminal flash
RemarksJust as the head of the object was about to disappear over the southeast horizon, it appeared that it might be beginning to break up, as I saw at least one glowing 'particle' appear to 'fall off' in a downward direction. There was no flash of light after this object disappeared over the horizon; I did watch for something like that, wondering if part of the head might fall somewhere in east-central NV. The tail was not persistent, nor did it leave a 'smoke trail.' The tail was quite long and distinct (10-15 degrees at maximum, as the object passed more directly to the south) but the glowing 'particles' in the tail did not hang in the sky along the route of travel after the head and tail disappeared from my view beyond horizon. The tail appeared to be burning materials trailing off of the burning head, not a trail of exhaust smoke. The tail became distinctly shorter, at least from my perspective, as the object approached the SE horizon. Throughout, the head appeared as a glowing ember, similar to the exhaust of a jet or rocket engine. Note: the near-full moon was low in the eastern sky, and its bright light did not reflect off any remnants, but it may have obscured any afterglow, if their was one. My initial reaction was this was a piece of space debris gliding slowly back to earth, since it seemed to move slower and stay in view longer than any of the 'large' meteors that I've seen flash quickly across a relatively small arc of the sky. This object did not streak, it sailed across the entire southern sky, almost deliberately so that all could watch, wonder and marvel at it.